This last week I (Nathaniel) had the pleasure of celebrating my lovely wife’s birthday with and for her. This seems to be an annual event and I am glad after eleven years of marriage I am finally caught up to this fact. I say this in jest as I’ve been good at remembering her birthdays, but bad at planning for them.
I do not mean to imply that this was a blow out birthday party, but I do mean to say that it was low key and a blessing to have those closest to us over to celebrate and put a smile on her face. Reflecting I realized that the party was not an anxiety I used to take on. In the past I would relegate the party timing and plans to her because I was busy or anxious with other things in life. Work, bills, kids, service, while all valid, were simply excuses now that I am reflecting. I’d be anxious with all the known items on my mind. Whether they were written down or not they would and still can, dwell in my mind and keep me feeling over whelmed. Planning a small party became one of those things. In speaking with my wife this last week and verbalizing the word ‘knowns’ we both came to a realization that she doesn’t do well with unknowns and I do not do well with knowns. Perfectly complementing each other in ability to stress about small anxieties but on different levels is part of how these two opposites must have been attracted back in 2003.
Knowns are things I know that need to be done. I place other things of equal or lesser importance ahead of them, making the Known seem of lesser importance. These known things stay on my mind and affect my performance. Keep your mind on track, I know what you were thinking but that is not what I was insinuating.
I am referring to my emotional and mental performance. The more these knowns pile up and I may or may not verbalize them the more likely I am to grow short tempered with my lovely wife and our wonderful sons. Also the more likely I am to be tired and lethargic and begin to get depressed and focus on negative thoughts instead of positive. The more likely I am to sound critical of my wife and children instead of building and encouraging them with grace, love and consistency.
Why did it take me so long to come up with the knowns realization? I really am not sure, but I am sure I need to get better at doing something about it. I need to fix that screen on the back window and complete that patched hole in the wall so it looks less like a construction site and more like an actual wall. I need to update the check book and have more meetings about our finances than I used to, not because I am hiding anything, but so that I can ensure my lovely wife and I are on the same transparent team in all aspects of possibility.
I am thankful I am one of the men that can remember his wife’s birthday, but now I am also thankful that a get together and celebration of her to show some appreciation is no longer something I leave for her to handle. If it causes me even the slightest anxiety it must have done the same to her and in the past it was for her. It’s nice to validate occasionally for her and both our mothers what a selfish moron I’ve been in the past. Not to make fun, well yes to self-deprecate let’s not mince thoughts. It’s funny to make fun of the husband when he’s a good sport and we’re healthy and enjoying life, I am sure it’s not so funny if I’m bitter or critical, but that could be another post. I feel this validation of my past idiocracy makes it easier to see some of the growth I’ve made being married to and prioritizing this beautiful spirit that is Christina. Lord willing this is the first of many post birthday posts where I appear to be kissing butt, however I’m just displaying my gratitude for changes in my life that build up my marriage.